Ghostbusters: Showing on a YouTube near you

Ronny Kerr · August 14, 2009 · Short URL:

Blockbuster brings attention to YouTube movies section, offers glimpse into site’s possible future

YouTube's announcement started off early in the morning with a peculiar tweet from @youtube: “We’ve got a special film debuting on YouTube tonight at 9pm PT. Follow our tweets for cryptic clues throughout the day.”

“Cryptic clues” followed as promised, culminating in a tweet in the evening that revealingly stated only, “Who you gonna call?” and a link to a YouTube-hosted full-length and free version of the original “Ghostbusters”, the massively popular 1984 science-fiction comedy.

Ghostbusters on YouTube

Actually, though the film is hosted on YouTube’s site, the actual player presenting the movie is an embedded Sony Crackle player, which makes sense since, according to the YouTube Blog, Sony and the number one video site on the Web are teaming up to present the blockbuster as a way of celebrating its 25th anniversary. Furthermore, it’s safe to assume that Sony hopes this revival of “Ghostbusters” nostalgia, on YouTube’s site for the next week, will garner some excitement for its current work on Ghostbusters 3.

Though seven days may seem like a short interval to come up with time to watch a full-length movie on the Web, especially since us Internet veterans expect our favorite videos to always be available 24/7, this might actually be a sign of what to expect from film companies and YouTube in the future.

There are a couple of things to consider here.

For some time now, the film industry has been suffering big losses at the box office. At the same time, despite its monumental popularity, YouTube, like other very popular Web sites, has yet to completely satisfy investors with a concrete plan for monetization.

Put these two well-known facts together, combined with the fact that the “Ghostbusters” video on YouTube contains about 7-8 unavoidable Honda ads (each runs about fifteen seconds in length and appear at regularly paced intervals), and it appears that we have a recipe that could make everybody happy. YouTube would continue to attract millions of users around the world by providing the best service for the uploading of amateur videos. It then funnels that immense user base to its movies section, where major Hollywood studios prop up their ad-infused videos.

It’s not full-proof, but it’s an idea. Until its implementation, I’m crossing the streams to watch “Ghostbusters.”

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.


What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.